When you get hit in the face with the disappointing truth many times you find yourself bouncing off the nearest wall or running and ducking for cover.
Many times the disappointing truth wears a disguise and other times it comes rolling in like the waves of an angry storm.
My latest adventure with the truth came in disguise. An offer was put in front of me nine months ago, and being the type of person who flies by the seat of her pants, I jumped right in and could not wait to start on it. There were phone calls, emails, ideas going back and forth but nothing actually started to form. I knew a face-to-face meeting was needed so I booked a flight and I went to spend 5 days away from my business in hopes of hammering out all that needed to be done.
I spent those 5 days there and nothing really got written in stone as to how we would make progress other than to chase some ideas of where to hold the first meeting which involved driving all over the place looking at rental houses. I can admit it now that I put the cart way before the horse at the beginning. I am a doer.
Over the next several months any progress made seemed to travel in a small circle. There were emails, there were phone calls, but there was one thing missing – action. I would shuffle through pages of printed out emails and see the same things written over and over that look on paper what a broken record must sound like as it skips and repeats.
This program when it was first introduced to me came in a pretty package with the hopes and dreams that it would be bigger than Susan G. Komen, and that is a pretty darn big dream when you think about it.
There was supposed to be a meeting of the minds of women in May in this other state, that got tabled to October. I was told in January we should move the meeting to Tampa where I live so I started looking for venues, only to be told in April that a big vacation cruise had been planned as I sat there scratching my head over that.
I rolled with that news, I knew October would be difficult with all the pink programs that were already scheduled, so I felt we could move it back to September without a problem but there was a big problem. There was still no action and now when I would try to talk about rolling it out at an event we were both attending that idea did not happen. I had written out a schedule and an agenda, we had discussed it, maybe it had been forgotten.
I had talked to some powerful trade show event people while I was in Las Vegas at a huge conference, we were going to need people like this. I had started to line up speakers. I had enlisted the assistance of a Twitter group that works with non-profit organizations. I asked to be allowed to start putting teasers out, that was vetoed. I bought the domain names, I designed a website, and I was never asked what it looked like, or how to access the dashboard or the password protected pages.
There was talk of a legal partnership and a bank account, talk is cheap, event programs are not.
My husband would listen to our scheduled telephone calls and in March he began to predict that I was on a one-way trip to nowhere and it was derailing. I did not want to believe him so I brought a marketing person on board. I had asked this marketing person in February for some great ideas on doing this roll out at the April event we were all going to attend, and those ideas were met with a lukewarm reception.
I asked again if we could do teasers and it was vetoed, so I did them anyway. I decided to play my hand only to find out I was really playing solitaire.
When we all gathered for the April event I felt a chill in the air. Everything that was coming up roses on the phone seemed to have hit a cold snap and the bloom was off the rose in person.
I scheduled a meeting at a breakfast restaurant bringing in a woman I knew well who could be an instrumental team player. I would call that meeting “strained”. I wasn’t back in my hotel for 5 minutes and my phone rang, it was this woman and she told me that the energy she felt at the breakfast was looming and heavy.
After that nothing went right. We were attending an event that had been planned for a year and it was a total disappointment not only for me, but for other attendees. That was when I saw the real truth. Some people have great ideas, but they can’t put them into action. I already knew that the planning for this event had for the most part been last minute. I was the one who got the phone call 2 days prior to leaving that nothing was getting done, and the person she had hired to do things had taken her grand child on a field trip. She was threatening to fire her.
When we all finally arrived at this event it was just bad. The travel agent that handled it got all the blame but then again when you wait to the last minute to put things in place you get left with what’s left and it isn’t always what you hoped for is it?
I could do nothing right. Everything I said or did was judged and critiqued. If I said something to one of her minions it was repeated but not the way I said it. When I left the room to attend something I had signed up for, I was accused of not only leaving but taking people with me. I never did that. I wouldn’t do that.
Am I perfect, heck no. I have ADD. I am crazy as a loon at times and my true friends know my habits and accept me. I see now that some people need to kick the dog because they cannot take responsibility for things that go wrong. It really saddened me that I was that dog.
Thank the good Lord my husband was at this event because if he had not been, I would have left when on the 6th day the biggest load of you-know-what got dumped on me, and I stood there keeping my ADD in control and took it on the chin.
What happened after that was great. I took myself out of the event. My husband and I did our own thing. We ate dinner away from everyone else. We met wonderful people, we connected with another couple and spent hours with them laughing something I had not done in 6 days.
I never shed one tear either. The disappointing truth made that easy. I finally realized that there are talkers and there are doers. After 9 months of talking I could see that this program was always going to be just talk. That was apparent when I saw clearly that someone who had a year to plan an event that needs sponsorships, that needs assistants that can excite the attendees, that needed to work with a travel agency in a timely fashion to get venues, to reserve spaces for things, to get a seating chart right, was not someone I could have worked with for events that should have been bringing women in from all over the country.
I count my blessings now that I am home. I have new friends. I have great supporters. I am relieved. We always know the truth, we disguise it too in hopes that we are wrong, that a miracle will happen, that Wonder Woman will appear. It’s all good.
Oh and one last thing, karma is a bitch. To the two minions who had problems with seeing and saying what really happened, that will come back and bite you. To the Complaining Diva attendee who complained about every single thing 24/7 you should only know what people were saying before you arrived, oh and to the rest of those who might be wondering what the heck was happening, now you have an idea.
The conclusion to this story is that a program has been born, a team has been created, and we are a team of doers not talkers. Team is the keyword there is no letter “I” in team.